The real work is all in the edit

vonnegutI’m on page 92 of 506 of my first hard-copy edit, and I’m loving the experience. This bit is all about continuity, pace, and plot. I’ve marked where the hero’s housekeeper changes her name, and his land agent goes from weedy to buff in a matter of days. I’ve noted the change in the heroine’s eye-colour (green flecks turned into gold flecks). I’ve found two scenes I can cut dramatically and another that I think I can get rid of altogether, thus removing several peripheral characters entirely.

And, for inspiration, I’ve been reading some quotes from an article entitled 20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision.

Here’s one of the 20 quotes:

“Your eloquence should be the servant of the ideas in your head. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.” — Kurt Vonnegut, How to Use the Power of the Printed Word


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